Netflix Uses Amazon Web Services For Its API and Other Operations

Posted Nov 24, 2010

Over the last few months Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) moved their API and some of their streaming operations to Amazon Web Services (AWS). At the same time, Netflix grew three times as big over the past year. Netflix Cloud Architect Adrian Cockcroft discussed some advantages of switching to AWS rather than building a data center on the Cloudscaling Blog.

Cockroft said that the operations that are taking place in Netflix data centers include “most internal IT that scales with employee count, legacy stuff, DVD shipping systems. account sign-up and billing systems.” For streaming movies, Netflix uses Akamai, Level3, and Limelight.

Cockroft said that one of the biggest challenges is re-architecting applications for multi-tenant environments:

“You have to assume that the hardware and underlying services are ephemeral, unreliable and may be broken or unavailable at any point, and that the other tenants in the multi-tenant public cloud will add random congestion and variance. In reality you always had this problem at scale, even with the most reliable hardware, so cloud ready architecture is about taking the patterns you have to use at large scale, and using them at a smaller scale to leverage the lowest cost infrastructure.”